denisbider

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Humans can drive cars

Sorry, I don't check this place often.

To some extent, I think what you described does happen for snippets of code that are largely the same, and which one might write all the time. For example, I can write a "Hello world" program while maintaining conversation. However, as soon as you ask me to write something new, then I do have to start thinking about how to put pieces together, and can't continue conversation.

But this also happens with driving. Speaking for myself at least, I can only maintain conversation while driving in a way that does not require me to make any decisions: (1) a route I've driven many times before, (2) a straight piece of road that might be unfamiliar, but does not require making any decisions.

If you put me in a new city where I don't know where the streets are and how the traffic works, my conversational ability is much decreased (unless sitting at a red light, and perhaps even then, if I'm wondering where to turn next).

Programming tends to be like driving in new cities all the time. The difference we observe is really that we do most of our driving as a chore (same route, similar conditions each time) whereas we usually try to avoid that in programming (re-writing code we've already written several times, in similar conditions each time).

Humans can drive cars

Programming is one of them. Even after doing it for decades, people are still as consciously engaged in it as they did in the beginning.

My experience disagrees with this. After about 20 years of experience with C/C++, I have internalized many of the aspects of programming in this language, which allows me to write complex software factors of magnitude faster than 20 years ago, and factors of magnitude more safely.

I notice how much I have internalized when I switch to a different language that isn't "my own", and find myself immediately bogged down in all sorts of details for which I don't know how exactly they work, and what is the best way to approach them.

In my experience, programming skill, especially in a particular language, does get internalized, much like dancing.

Minimum viable workout routine

It doesn't only work for me. It's how most people I know, who are into fitness, manage their weight. The "Calories In" part is not eating too much. The "Calories Out" part is maintaining your metabolism by eating small meals regularly, exercising, and eating lots of protein to gain and preserve muscle mass.

It works. It works for a lot of people.

In fact, aside from gastric bypass surgery, it's the only reliable way to lose weight that I know. And gastric bypass surgery is a form of CI:CO!

And then we have a bunch of people on Less Wrong, all of whom appear to be convinced that human bodies can somehow violate the rules of thermodynamics. Or that the calorie content of foods varies so wildly no one can ever track it well enough to lose weight. Then when challenged, you resort to arguments like this:

  • The sun is dark green.
  • No, it's bright yellow, I saw it this morning.
  • That's anecdotal evidence. It's no good as science. It's green, stop spreading your bullshit.
  • I'm pretty sure that it was yellow every time I saw it in my life. It was never green.
  • More anecdotal evidence. What you see is not what other people see. Learn to science, man!

Ad hominems are the last thing to resort to, but this conversation has become so ridiculous, I am left with no more credible explanations for this denialism than that you guys are chronically fat, and hiding behind excuses because you lack the will power to stop slurping Double Diet Mountain Dew. Then, you make endless posts about beating akrasia.

Not for the Sake of Pleasure Alone

Sorry for the late reply, I haven't checked this in a while.

Please don't fight the hypothetical.

Most components of our thought processes are subconscious. The hypothetical question you posed presses a LOT of subconscious buttons. It is largely impossible for most people, even intelligent ones, to take a hypothetical question at face value without being influenced by the subconscious effects of the way it's phrased.

You can't fix a bad hypothetical question by asking people to not fight the hypothetical.

For example, who wants to spend an eternity isolated in space? That must be one of the worst fears for many people. How do you disentangle that from the question? That's like asking a kid if he wants candy while you're dressed up as a monster from his nightmares.

There are lots of regretful heroin users.

Because not all components of the heroin experience are pleasant.

Wouldn't it be even better to constantly be feeling this bliss, but also still mentally able to pursue non-pleasure related goals?

I suppose, yes. Valuable X + valuable Y is strictly better than just valuable X.

Minimum viable workout routine

I haven't checked this thread for a while, so sorry for the late reply.

You make it out as though diet by CI:CO is too difficult to be practical. Maybe it is, for people who can't track stuff to save their lives.

For me, it's been easy. When I'm dieting, I have a spreadsheet where I record the calorie and protein content of everything I eat.

Yes, calculating calorie content for homemade meals is a fair amount of work, and takes dedication. It takes me up to 30 minutes of lookups and calculations to calculate calorie and protein content in a meal, and that's after my wife has weighed and recorded all the ingredients.

Because of this complexity, I stick mostly to prepared foods that display their calorie content, or homemade meals made of well-known ingredients in well-known proportions.

I have a fair amount of confidence in my calorie calculations. I know from experience that when I keep the daily sum of calories under a certain level, my waist size goes down. It works.

I don't know anyone else who brings this level of dedication to their diet. I know people who don't, and so they're fat.

I accept your argument that CI:CO is hard for people lacking conscientiousness, but this is different from saying that CI:CO doesn't work.

Also, for people lacking conscientiousness, chances are that no diet is going to work.

Less Wrong used to like Bitcoin before it was cool. Time for a revisit?

Presumably the company in question could easily manufacture a whole bunch for itself and get a significant portion of the bitcoin market

They can get 100% of the mining and transaction fees market by snapping their fingers. Once they've made their initial investment into manufacturing the chip, the marginal cost of making more of them is minimal. Far below the $30k they're selling the 1 TH solution for.

They can grab 50%+ of the mining market for themselves pretty easily. Then, they can increase their capacity to keep up with the growth of the network for cheap - all while they sell their processors to others, who pay much more for the mining capacity they get, than it costs for Butterfly Labs to make more.

(although it would have to be careful about destroying the currency's value).

It's possible to crash the currency if you're in a position where you can reliably mine more than 50% of the blocks. When you have more than 50% of the network's computing power, you can exclude other miners - gain 100% of the market by simply ignoring everyone else's blocks. The P2P network will respect your chain, because it's longer. Then, you can impose any transaction fees you like, or refuse to process any transactions at all.

However, unless you intentionally do things like that to crash the currency, its value doesn't come from the miners. It comes from people who use it for transactions and for storing value, which aren't necessarily the same people who mine the currency.

Not for the Sake of Pleasure Alone

Then they will blast you and the pleasure machine into deep space at near light-speed so that you could never be interfered with. Would you let them do this for you?

Most people say they wouldn't choose the pleasure machine.

Well, no wonder. The way the hypothetical scenario is presented evokes a giant array of ways it could go wrong.

What if the pleasure machine doesn't work? What if it fails after a month? What if it works for 100 years, followed by 1,000 years of loneliness and suffering?

Staying on Earth sounds a lot safer.

Suppose the person you are asking is religious. Will they be forfeiting an eternity in heaven by opting for passive pleasure in this life? They would say no, yet they are ultimately after eternal pleasure (heaven).

If you want to be fair to the person to whom you're talking, propose a pleasure machine they can activate at their convenience, and deactivate at any time. In addition, phrase it so that the person will remain healthy as long as they're in the machine, and they'll receive a minimum-wage income for spent time.

I suspect that, with these much safer sounding provisions, most people would opt to have access to the machine rather than not, and would eventually use it for 100% of the time.

Religious people may still not, if they fear losing access to heaven.

Personal example: The greatest feeling of bliss I have experienced is dozing off in a naturally doped up state after highly satisfying sex. This state is utterly passive, but so thoroughly pleasant that I could see myself opting for an eternity in it. I would still, however, only opt for this if I knew it could not end in suffering, e.g. by becoming immune to pleasant states of mind in the end

Helpless Individuals

I don't think the lack of scientists is the issue. The issue is others providing all the engineering and support that scientists need - to survive in the first place, and then to get science done.

If you want to continue your example of sacrificing a child, a more effective proposal would be to have extra children and bond them into near-slavery, taxing them at some high amount so as to support those who do science.

But that would be a real sacrifice, and most would not find the idea pleasing.

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